On Turning TwentyOne


If you’re turning twenty one (21!!) today… May 7, 2011, I’d like to humbly offer you some advice, as your elder of 9 whopping years.

I know you’re not asking for advice.  I know I’m not an expert at life…  I just have a few gems I want you to take with you.

One:  Raw honey and baking soda make a really lovely face scrub.  True.  Try it!

Two:  Eat something green everyday.

Three:  Chill out on the Facebook.  Seriously.  It’s not real life.

Four:  Learn how to sew something.  Anything.  At least learn how to sew your buttons back on your shirts.

Five:  If your button up shirt is bulging at the boobs… wear another shirt.  OR, just unbutton that button.  We’re talking exposed bra.   You’ll need to wear a necklace or two if you’re going to go this route.  You’re also going to need to walk tall and own it…. and stay away from public transportation.

Six:  Make lists on Post-It notes and knock em out, cross em off, get things done.

Seven:  Look people in the eye and listen when they speak.  It’s a nice touch.  It’s the opposite of Facebook.

Eight:  Is your resting face… the expression that you have when you’re just hanging out watching Real Housewives of Orange County… is that face bitchy?  Change that.  Try not to look bitchy when you’re just hanging out.

Nine:  Don’t drink too much rum… ever.

Ten:  Don’t be one of those girls that carries one of those long, giant cocktail cups around the streets of Las Vegas.  It really gives the wrong impression.  You’ll also have to pee a lot.

Eleven:  If a guy is a jerk, he’s dead to you.  You don’t need that bologna.  Eat an ice cream cone and move the heck on.

Twelve:  Don’t do stupid things that relate to booze, boys, nudity, and consequences.  Keep it together.  Drink more water than booze.  Sloppy is never cute.

Thirteen:  What’s important?  Make a list.  Honor it.

Fourteen:  Pull your hair back and wear pretty earrings.  Own it.

Fifteen:  Make things for people.

Sixteen:  Don’t be afraid of being overdressed.  Dresses are pretty and heels are awesome.  But!  If the heels make you walk like a robot… go with flats.  Know thyself.

Seventeen:  Boxes of cold cereal and a carton of milk make a strange and kinda funny hostess gift.  Coco Puffs and 2 percent.  Try it.

Eighteen:  Buy your friends random gifts… it’s just a nice thing to do.

Nineteen:  Don’t be afraid of looking dumb, asking a stupid question, falling on your face, getting rejected, ripping off your shirt on a crowded street, or being otherwise embarrassed.  We’ll be dead soon.

Twenty:  Put it on the Lord.  Good.  Bad.  Pretty.  Messy.  Put it all on the Lord.  Now… I know I don’t know you like that but… I’m just sayin’.

TwentyOne:  Work hard at the thing that you love.  Like… really hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s dumb.  If they do tell you it’s dumb… work harder and prove them wrong.  But don’t rub it in their face- just be gracious, and wear expensive lipstick, and smile, and keep working.


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500 thoughts on “On Turning TwentyOne

  1. “Don’t do stupid things that relate to booze, boys, nudity, and consequences. Keep it together. Drink more water than booze. Sloppy is never cute.”–

    AMEN!! God, I wish I could scream that message from the rooftops. Sloppy is never cute! And those big yards that people carry and drink from? Agreed totally with you on those, too!

    And I wish at 21 I had had a clue. I didnt and was plenty sloppy, no doubt. And was no lily white angel, either!

    Loser guys, eating green food, making things, putting it on the Lord. Gosh, I LOVE this post!!!

    HAPPY BDAY!!!!!

  2. Amazing. My daughter just turned 21 and I’m sending her this. Better than I could have said and not sure she listens to me yet anyway :)

    I love your writing

  3. I am not turning 21 today, but I love the advice that you have given. I will definitely be respecting it. Thanks for being awesome!

  4. you made me write joy.this post was brilliant. i am
    your silent reader but i love your blog and i love your
    food for sure:)

  5. Oh Joy, you really are your name by nature. I loved today’s blog. Being I celebrated 21 a decade ago I can only agree with you wholeheartedly. I would love to be able to write my 21 year old self a letter to advise of all the things that could lead me astray. 21 year olds take heed of these very wise pearls of wisdom from our Joy; you are young but once, but the memories of what you do, or don’t do wiill be with you forever!

  6. This is the wisest and truest post I’ve read for a younger person. Every 21 (and 22, 23, 24….) year old should hear this. The 20s are the most rapidly changing from year to year. Being at the end of it, I wish I heard that at the start myself. Bravo Joy! And Happy Birthday Brittany!

  7. Great list! I’m taking it to heart ’cause my birthday’s next week.

    Twenty-five. That century’s just inching closer… ;)

  8. THIS. Except I will say that for some of us the tragedy of resting bitchface is difficult to overcome. I’ve been short sighted my entire life, but only got glasses when I was 20, and as a result my default expression is a kind of bitchy, angry squint because my muscles are used to 20 years of struggling to see. Solidarity with my accidental bitchface sisters!

  9. Happy Birthday Joy from Joy! Hope you have the most fantastic day :-) Great advice for pretty much any age there, and I’m, errrrm, (whispers) almost 17 years your senior! Love you blog x

  10. Joy, I’m sorry I’ve never commented on your blog before. BUT, I love it. I really do. AND this post is ace. Keep the good stuff coming. As an American in London I revel in the joy (ha! pun actually not intended!) and baking inspiration that your blog brings me daily!

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